Raise Employee Engagement With Volunteering

Topic(s): Uncategorized
Publication: Personnel Psychology (2013)
Article: Win–win–win: The influence of company-sponsored volunteerism programs on employees, NGOs, and business units
Authors: Paula Caligiuri, Ahsiya Mencin, & Kaifeng Jiang
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin

This study shows how strong volunteer programs are a win for the employee who volunteers, a win for the company that sponsors the volunteerism, and a win for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which are typically nonprofit humanitarian organizations. To measure the actual benefits or drawbacks of company-sponsored volunteerism programs, researchers (Caligiuri, Mencin, & Jiang, 2013) gathered responses from employees, NGO managers, and line managers.

Here’s how each group benefits from volunteerism:

  • Employees who were from a Fortune 500 company indicated that corporate volunteerism provides fresh ideas and alternative perspectives they can use at work.
  • For the employee’s business, corporate volunteerism leads to increased employee engagement.
  • For the NGO, corporate volunteerism increases sustainability of the organization and leads to continued involvement by the employee even after volunteer assignment.

Additionally, the study found that some volunteer assignments are more valuable than others. A number of factors can increase the value of the volunteerism program. Volunteer program are valued more when they are international, when volunteers can use their professional skills while volunteering, when volunteers get to develop skills that will help in their regular work, when the volunteers believe their projects contribute meaningfully to the NGO, and when there are concrete resources to sustain the volunteers’ projects.